Below are 8 versions of the 1st Vinyasa (position) of the Sun Salute. Where I couldn't find a picture of the yogi/teacher themselves, I chose a picture of a student under the direct guidance of the teacher.
To begin with, let's discuss what is the same in all of these postures. Feet are together, legs straight, arms lifted overhead. All of them are taught on the inhale. Most have the palms together pointing straight up, with the head tilted back to some degree looking up.
4 of these yogis represent the Ashtanga Vinyasa tradition: Pattabhi Jois, the founder, Gregor Maehle, David Swenson and Kino MacGregor. Their postures are very similar, coming from the same source: Pattabhi Jois. Both PJ and KM have their heads thrown back, while GM and DS have a more subtle tilt to the head.
Notable differences in execution of this posture come from Dharma Mittra and Srivatsa Ramaswami.
Dharma Mittra has arms apart, hands facing forward. Instead of reaching straight up, he stretches backward, making this posture a moderate backward bend. Both Rodney Yee and Baron Baptiste also have a bit of a backward bend, though their hands are joined together.
Srivatsa Ramaswami has fingers interlaced and palms turned upwards, opening the shoulders. Arms are stretched backward past vertical, and the chin is tucked to the chest.
This journal honors my ongoing experience with the practice, study and teaching of yoga.
1) Sridaiva Yoga: Good Intention But Imbalanced
2) Understanding Chair Posture
2) Why I Don't Use Sanskrit or Say Namaste
3) The Meaningless Drudgery of Physical Yoga
5) Beyond Bikram: Why This Is a Great Time For Ghosh Yoga